Breaking Bad

Season 4 Episode 9


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Sep 11, 2011 on AMC
out of 10
User Rating
336 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Skyler's mistakes come back to haunt her; Gus takes action against his rivals; Jesse seeks Walt's help.

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  • A surprisingly sloppy episode

    Coming closer to the season finale, "Bug" didn't make me excited about what will happen in the next couple of episodes, but rather disappointed me and made me remember all the problems I've had with this series during season two and three. Or, to express it with a poor pun pertaining to the title: there was a lot that bugged me.

    Skyler got back to being main character again as her former boss/love interest Ted suddenly showed up while she was soliloquizing at her car wash and informed her that the tax fraud his company and therefore also Skyler, as their bookkeeper, have committed is going to be audited. Oh shite, that is probably the least advantageous thing to happen to her at that time as criminal investigations would be more than likely to discover the money laundering she was vindicating herself in the soliloquy earlier on. So what does she do? Attending the audit in dumb blonde fashion and showing the special agent buttocks-sized cleavage, which works in the way as prison time for Ted and investigations about the car wash are off the hook ignorance is not a crime, hooray. The entertainment factor of that was rather low, however, and seeing Christopher Cousins, one of the reasons why season three was that terrible, again made me drown out the dialog by letting off a vehement "Uh".

    The rest of "Bug" was only partially better than that and besides the well-written conversation Jesse and Gus share, the episode skimped on noteworthy scenes. At the end of the episode, the bloody foreshadowing of the pre-credits sequence was revealed and, well, it revealed something we've known for half a dozen of episodes already: that Walt and Jesse have now changed roles about who's the irrational and unprofessional part of the meth cooking duo lived apart. The writers decided to portray that in the most drastic way possible and had the two have a fistfight and thus marring Jesse's newly redecorated domicile. I hope not to be the only one who found this to be completely over the top and was impossible take it serious.

    As you can see, there's not one story arc I really enjoyed in "Bug" (coincidence that season four's episode nine is named after an insect just as season three's episode nine, "Fly"?) and the episode remarkably reduced my excitement for the last fourth of the season.

  • 409

    "Bug" is the episode title and what bugged me about this episode was how they randomly brought back Skyler's work as an accountant. Has this even been addressed since last year? I don't recall, and I don't know why they felt the need to have it here, unless it will lead to her making another mistake at the car wash and someone finding out what it is really going on. So, I would like to believe that it is foreshadowing, but my head is also telling me they were just trying to find something for the stagnant and annoying character to do this week.

    But this episode was made by the fight between Jesse and Walt. It was funny, it was dramatic, it was believable to an extent and just showed how great this cast is and how far they are willing to go to entertain the viewers....I know I was.moreless
  • Season 4 just keeps getting better and better

    Oh my gosh, I don't know what to say about this episode. I am so speechless right now. I love this episode and definitely one of my new favorite episodes of Season 4. It's everything that fans like us expect from an awesome crime drama show like "Breaking Bad". The only disappointing part of this episode was the Skylar/Ted plot. That plot was a little boring and was kinda pointless to an awesome and marvelous episode like this. I'm gonna let that slide since Skylar usually bores me in every episode and I'm not gonna take away any points in every single episode just because of Skylar. The middle scene of this episode was definitely very intense when those guys were getting shot and then Jesse was almost going to be shot (because he is just standing there scared and upset) until Mike pushed him out of the way and saved his life. Nice brief action scene to this episode. Walter putting the bug on Jesse and finding out that Jesse was at Gus' house was very interesting. The storyline to this episode was fascinating but my favorite part of this episode was definitely when Walter and Jesse are fighting each other in the last 2 or 3 minutes of this episode. That fight scene was very intense and extraordinary. After the fight, the episode ended with Jesse telling to Walter to get out of his house and never come back and then Walter leaves Jesse's house. I'm thinking that this is the start of the point where the Walter/Jesse partnership literally falling apart. Overall, an excellent episode of "Breaking Bad" and got me excited about next week's episode "Salud". 10/10moreless
  • Come on Walt, time to Break Bad and rise to the top.

    I don't know, I just found myself a little annoyed by this episode. It wasn't particularly slow, but it wasn't particularly well acted or well shot either, and I just don't like where the story is going.

    First off, Skyler-heavy episodes do tend to drag a little bit, and bringing the Ted story back into things wasn't a good move, because we're just not interested in his company or Skyler's book-keeping. Yes it might lead to the police tapping Walt's phone but that wouldn't be a very interesting plot development in my opinion.

    Secondly was it just me or did this episode feel half-assed with the acting? Even Cranston didn't really nail it this week. The cinematography felt as rushed as the pacing, and the show lacked its usual edgy feel to it.

    Thirdly, it annoys me when they give an amazing, tense opener like that and it ends without a major event. The first time the show gave us one of those flash forward opening sequences, the show ended with Walt blowing up a drug dealer's lair. The ending of last night's episode wasn't exactly a revelation; we all saw it coming 6 episodes ago.

    Last and most importantly, Walt's character isn't very interesting right now. He's turned from this progressively volatile, dangerous badass with equal measures of nerdy awkwardness, to a pathetic, trapped pawn, who continually makes stupid decisions and moronic plans. The season trailer said "he IS the danger" but we've yet to see that. Sure his inner Heizenberg has come out with more frequency, but it always ends with him putting his tail between his legs and backing down. That's not the Heizenberg I remember. The guy from the previous seasons would have come up with a brilliant plan by now; something involving chemistry and science and manipulation. At the very least, he would have helped Hank bring down Gus in the hopes that he'd be able to get out of the deal without being brought down with him (cue the scenes of him wearing gloves everywhere and washing down the entire labs to get rid of his prints).

    I never really liked the whole lab-Gus-Mike scenario at the start of the season. If somebody would have told me that scenario would run right the way through the season without Walt being able to do a thing about it, I might not have been quite as excited.

    No doubt everyone will thumb down this review, because people are still in denial that their favourite show (and mine, I might add) could possibly produce a mediocre episode. But it did, and it's not the first of its kind this season, at least in my personal opinion.moreless
  • Ice Road Trucking

    Breaking Bad continues to prove to be the best show on TV with another stellar episode. Walt goes to retrieve the tracking bug from Gus's car with Hank in tow but when it turns out that Gus only goes to his restaurants and back Hank becomes even more suspicious. When Hank tries to get Walt to drive him to the Pollos Hermanos distribution center Walt says he has the stomach flu (which his technical description is the funnier part of the episode) and buys 2 days. He warns Mike about Hank's visit and Mike and Jesse and a crew clean out the center effectively. But not before a guy gets his head blown off by a sniper and Jesse stands there in slow-mo dumbfounded and Mike saves him from the line of fire. Gus exits the building, defiant to the cartel sniper with his hands raised high, because the cartel isn't there to kill Gus. It turns out that they want half his business. Skyler helps out Ted Beneke who has an audit the next day and with her being signer on the books it could mean surveillance on her to prove Ted a criminal. She buys some time with a clever ploy in the audit but unless Ted pays them back to 600,000 dollars he owes the government the investigation will continue but Ted has no money. It looks like Skyler will have to possibly front him the money to keep his and her cover intact and Walt faces exposure. Junior's B-day is coming up and Skyler wants to buy him a car (probably will occur in the next episode) but for it to cheap and safe. When Gus and Jesse dispose of the body of the dead guy Walt puts a bug on Jesse's car. Jesse goes to Gus's house to get his questions answered and it turns out that Gus needs someone to go to Mexico to teach Walt's formula to cartel chefs when Gus asks Jesse if he could replicate the formula she he obviously can't trust Walt. Jesse defends Walt and fails to try to kill Gus like he said he would. Jesse calls Walt and tells him all about what's been happening. When Jesse finds out Walt put a bug on his car he is pissed and the two get into a vicious fight which was hinted at at the beginning of the episode. After all Jesse did for Walt by standing up for him although Walt is just paranoid and doesn't want to die is all. Jesse banishes him from his life forever and Walt leaves. A powerful and pivotal things has happened, the partnership has crumbled and Jesse is Gus's now. Walt is all alone. This was a very heavy episode but it was saved by some light moments like when Walt tries to make small talk about what Jesse watches on TV and doesn't know what Ice Road Truckers is. Seeing Walt simply not care that his death is supposedly right around the corner is good too. Seeing him smoking cigarettes and drinking beer and having a devil may care attitude of "we're both dead so there" kind of stuff is what makes his character so fascinating to see change. A good question is if Jesse will indeed go and if it will be shown off screen or not and whether Walt will move in on Gus alone now like he did before and if Gus is really going along with the cartel or is really playing along to kill them off. Hard to believe we're close to the end of the season coming up. It's painful to see Jesse and Walt against one another, their partnership is largely what this show started out as. Hopefully they can come back together in some way unless they both die.moreless
Rob Brownstein

Rob Brownstein

CID Special Agent

Guest Star

Maurice Compte

Maurice Compte


Guest Star

Eric Steinig

Eric Steinig

Mike's #2

Guest Star

Ray Campbell

Ray Campbell

Tyrus Kitt

Recurring Role

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

Ted Beneke

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Apparently the chicken farm set location was being demolished but the owners held off on demolition until the crew shot their scene for this episode. Later on in the season, extra shots from this day of filming were used since they knew that they would not be able to get back. Michelle also mentions that they lost the original Saul's location, so as you'll notice this season, the outside is not really shown.

    • It took one full day to film the entire fight scene. They had stuntman bear the worst of the fighting but most of the fight was played out by Aaron and Bryan (Aaron particularly notes the several takes of him being thrown against the wall). Aaron said they would laugh between takes because it was so fun. In addition, originally, the writers wanted to use Gus to tell Walt about the latest developments but after they saw Aaron Paul's performance they knew they made a good choice in letting Jesse relay the trip to Mexico to Walt.

    • Gus' house number is 1213, as seen when Jesse is allowed into the home.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Jesse: [After] everything that I have done for you... You put a bug... on MY car?!
      Walt: [What] you've done for me?! You've killed me is what you've done! You signed my death warrant! And now you want advice? Alright, I'll give you advice: go to Mexico and screw up like I know you will and wind up in a barrel somewhere! (Jesse gets physical and throws the GPS tracker at Walt's head, drawing blood. Walt charges at Jesse and the two struggle for several minutes, each landing several punches on each other. Finally, Jesse ends up pinning Walt to the floor and punching and kicking him several times, his face now cut and bruised. Walt does get up, albeit slowly.)
      Jesse: (Breathing heavily) Can you walk?
      Walt: (Struggling to stand, grabs his glasses from the floor) ...Yeah.
      Jesse: Good then get the **** outta here and never come back.

    • Jesse: I knew you would react this way! I knew you would freak out and you wouldn't believe me! That's why I didn't say anything. Look, there was just this one big pot of stew, OK? He just made this one big pot and we both ate from it. What was I supposed to do, huh? Poison myself?
      Walt: Two hours and 18 minutes and you couldn't figure out a way to give it to him.
      Jesse: He never left the room?
      Walt: You had one thing to do, one thing! That is the only thing, I might add, that would save our lives. And you were right there. You were in the house and you didn't have the guts to do it! You never had any intention of killing him, did you?
      Jesse: Two hours and 18 minutes? How did you know I was at his house last night? Were you following me?
      Walt: This, this is how I knew (Throws GPS tracker to Jesse).

    • Jesse: Word has come down that they want me to go to Mexico. There's some sort of war brewing between Gus and the Cartel.
      Walt: Word has come down?
      Jesse: The Cartel has been messing with Gus' operation, like jacking trucks to like send a message. And yesterday? That dude we brought to the lab? They shot him right in front of me! Just blew his head open! Some sniper nailed him from like a mile away. Anyway, they've been holding off but from between Cartel taking potshots and you're brother-in-law trying to throw a net over the whole deal, it's like what you call a rock and a hard place situation. So Gus is gonna cave. So the Cartel wants half of Gus' entire operation and they want your formula. And he's gonna give it to them. Well, I, I gotta give it to them. I mean, I'm supposed to go to Mexico and teach a bunch of Cartel chemists how to cook a batch of blue. Y'know, Gus doesn't trust you so I gotta go! I mean, you're the chemist, man, not me. I mean, let's say I go down and go over there to the jungle or whatever and say they got actual chemists, I mean Cartel chemists, asking me chemistry stuff that I don't know how to answer because I'm not you. And what if all the equipment is in Mexican instead of English? Ugh, I dunno, I dunno, if I mess this up, I am dead. All of us! Mr. White, look, I need your help. OK, maybe you could, uh, could like coach me or something or you could give me some notes. Mr. White?
      Walt: So you saw Gus?
      Jesse: What? No.
      Walt: So you didn't see Gus?
      Jesse: No.
      Walt: Then who told you all of that?
      Jesse: It was passed down, like I said.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The show is very implicit when it comes to stating timelines. Over dinner with Gus, Jesse mentions it's been about a month since he started working for Gus, when at the time Gus didn't see any value in Jesse and figured he was better off dead (late Season 2, early Season 3).

    • Cast: Saul (Bob Odenkirk), and Walt Jr. (R.J. Mitte) are credited but do not appear.